(Yonkers, N.Y., Rome, Italy)—The Italian Academy Foundation, Inc. (IAF) today announced that it will “adopt” as its principal initiative in the reconstruction of the earthquake-torn home province of L’Aquila, the rebuilding of the damaged portions of the 14th Century Castle of Celano (1356 A.D.). The Italian Academy Foundation, whose Italian facilities in Bisegna are close by in that same province of L’Aquila, has had a long standing relationship with the leaders of Celano where the Italian Academy Foundation’s concerts and other activities have regularly been staged.

According to the Italian Academy Foundation Chairman, Steve Acunto, the project is a fitting one: “Consonant with the request of Prime Minister Berlusconi and others in the region who are supervising the beginnings of this enormous restoration and rebuilding process, the Italian Academy Foundation will focus our efforts upon this particular monument, working together with Senator Filippo Picone (spelling???) and with members of the Regional Council, notably…….(ask Carusi) and with our Artistic Director from Celano, renowned pianist Nazzareno Carusi. We will direct our funds toward the restoration of this facility and will continue to use our residence and hotel facilities to house workers, the infirm and, in the future, the anticipated restoration teams,” Mr. Acunto stated.

To begin the fund raising effort the Italian Academy Foundation, Inc. will hold an Invitation Only concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on June 15th, 2009 at 8:30 p.m., featuring Celano’s “favorite son”, pianist Nazzareno Carusi who will perform a program including works by Liszt (Apres une lecteur du Dante) and Scarlatti..

Celano is a situated on the northern edge of the “Conca del Fucino” in Abruzzo. The 14th century Piccolomini Castle sits at the highest point of the ancient city, and is considered an important historical structure. It also houses the National Museum of Sacred Art of Marsica. Celano is home to other historical monuments such as the church of S. Giovanni Battista, which preserves important Gothic frescoes; the church of S. Francesco; and the church of S. Michele Arcangelo.

The Italian Academy Foundation, Inc. (IAF), established in 1947, is a non-for profit 501©(3), tax-exempt corporation that pursues a unique form of cultural diplomacy, presenting Italian realities to U.S. audiences. The Italian Academy Foundation, Inc. produces concerts, symposia and special events year round throughout the United States and Italy. IAF customarily works with select international charities to use our events for fundraising and awareness efforts. IAF underwrites these efforts with the generous assistance of its members and friends. Recent beneficiaries include The Salzburg Seminar (Austria), One Bright World (Liberia), The Europe Society (Brussels), the Women for Peace effort of the United Nations Delegates Women’s Committee, and The Nassau Physicians Foundation.

The Italian Academy Foundation maintains its Italian headquarters and programs for American students in Bisegna (L’Aquila) Italy, along with an office in Rome.

For more information, please contact the office of S. Acunto.